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Soccer Season: What’s New?

Gabby Yang
New girls join the soccer team.

   With the winter sports season in full swing, the Pinewood boys and girls soccer teams take the field with renewed excitement. The addition of boys soccer head coach David Hernandez and the influx of new players on both teams has provided an extra spark of motivation.

   Hernandez is looking to change the team culture this year, highlighting two main goals for his players.

   “My main goals are to make sure all the players are on the same page,” Hernandez said. “I want it to be a family at the end of the day.”

   When asked about what he has interpreted from the team’s first couple of practices, Hernandez was positive in his reflection. 

   “It’s been good… there’s a plan set for them to improve and they’re hungry to get better,” Hernandez said.

   With these new goals in mind, Hernandez named two players he expects to lead the team after the departure of multiple seniors.

   “Paul Sapilewski and Koh Taradash,” Hernandez said. “Since day one, you can tell that more people listen when they’re talking.”

   Last year’s leading scorer, Harry Yang, is also another player who will guide a team full of new faces. He had one main objective for the upcoming season.

   “We just want to compete with some of the bigger schools that we lost to last year,” Yang said. “I think we can come up with a good result against schools like Sacred Heart and Menlo.”

   These ambitious goals are certainly possible as the team looks to build off positive results from last year, such as its 2-2 draw against Menlo School.

   Similar to the boys, Pinewood girls soccer is preparing to bounce back from losing a lot of senior talent last year. Head Coach Whitney Wood is excited about the promise of her team.

   “I was impressed with the few girls who haven’t played before,” Wood said. “They’re catching on really fast and working really hard.”

   With this, Wood knows that young teams require experienced veterans to guide them. She named three multi-year starters as the leaders of the team.

   “Our captains this year are Charlotte van Gent, Caroline Blotter and Lacey Armistead,” Wood said. “I’m really looking at those three leaders to step up and show leadership on the field.”

   Junior captain Armistead was full of praise for her younger teammates and has high hopes for the season.

   “The team looks solid,” she said. “The freshmen are working really hard to replace the seniors we lost last year.”

   With a combination of experienced leaders and determined newcomers, Wood has high expectations for her team this year.

   “Last year, we got fifth place,” Wood said. “Our goal is to get at least fourth and make the playoffs this year.”

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